CASTAGNA, Paulo. The Use of Music by the Jesuits in the Conversion of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil. In: O’MALLEY, John W.; BAILEY, Gauvin Alexander; HARRIS, Steven J.; KENNEDY, T. Frank (eds.). The Jesuits: Culture, Sciences and the Arts 1540-1773. Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press, 1999. p.641-658. ISBN-10: 0802042872. ISBN-13: 978-0802042873.
ABSTRACT. From the time of their arrival in Brazil in 1549 until their expulsion in 1759, the Jesuits made extensive use of music in their attempt to bring about the conversion of the Indians to the Catholic faith. They used music in two ways. The first, intended as a means of teaching basic Christian doctrine, was to have the Indians sing prayers or didactic texts in Portuguese or the native Indian language to melodies taken from existing plainchants or secular songs (the Portuguesecantigas). The second, developed for the celebration of masses or offices and for use in processions, was to have the Indians participate as singers and instrumentalists in performances of polyphonic music of Iberian origin. In spite of the fact that all the plainchants and secular songs have been lost, some documents have remained from the period that allow us to reconstruct the history of the Jesuit practice and the forms adopted.